Product Type: Amstrad set top boxes
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~Life In HD with Amstrad!~
Amstrad DRX890 Sky Plus HD Digibox
Member Name: newby2
Amstrad DRX890 Sky Plus HD Digibox
Advantages: good box
==Amstrad DRX890Sky Plus HD Set Top Box==
I always said we would never get Sky but because of the deal where you get the internet, phone and extra TV channels worked out a lot cheaper than what I was already paying with BT for internet and phone I decided it was worth it (especially as I got £100 Marks and Spencer vouchers too!). Sky now gives you the Amstrad DRX890 Sky + HD Set top box when you order and I must say that we have been really pleased with the performance of this box since its arrival.
The box itself looks pretty slick and far better than the old white coloured ones which I assumed we would get. The box is not too big and has a slightly slimline design when compared to our old Freeview + set top box. The box was set up for us initially but because we still had our Freeview box installed we have since de-cluttered the TV unit and had to reinstall the box which because it is a simple HDMI cable that goes from the Sky + box to the TV this is very easily done and anyone could do it.
The box is available to buy without signing up to Sky just in case you need a replacement box but expect to pay a little over the £100 mark for one although you will also get the remote control and the HDMI cable which you will need in order for the HD aspect of the box to work well.
The box has a few buttons on top of the unit itself which enables the box to be turned on or off or the channel to be changed up or down. Because there are only a few buttons very limited actions can be performed from just using the box and the remote is an absolute must although I do end up using the power button a fair bit on the top especially when the remote control has gone walk about! As well as the few buttons on the top of the box there are a few more fairly inoffensive looking buttons positioned on the front left hand side of the box which do give you a few more options to record, fast forward, rewind and pause, mainly the actions for the plus side of the box. This is again handy for when the remote has disappeared (like it seems to do quite often!).
There are a few LCD lights positioned on the front of the box and the largest one is around the circular area in the middle of the box. This will illuminate blue and move around in a circular motion when playing something which has been recorded or when playing back live paused TV. There is a red LCD button in the centre of this which will illuminate to indicate when you are recording something and I find this handy to know especially when my little boy has recorded something accidentally (which does happen a lot). The other smaller LCD light is the power button which will glow green when the box is on and an amber colour when the box is sitting on standby.
The box has a good size 250 GB of memory which enables a good many hours of recording from the TV and this is used very often by the whole family although I am very good and will delete things once watched so we have as yet never used up all the memory as this equates to around 72 hours of recording time which is very substantial. This is more memory than my old Freeview plus box had as we forever seemed to be deleting stuff we were yet to watch because we had run out of space for the new programmes or film that we wanted to record. It is certainly nice to have a large amount of disc space to be able to have a lot of recorded things to choose from.
The HD aspect of the box is good too and because we have a HD ready LCD TV and we did initially sign up for the HD channels we did really notice the difference. Because you have to pay £10 extra on the Sky subscription we did cancel this aspect of our package within a few months due to cutting back and I can't say it was worth paying that much extra for. However the picture is super crisp and clear as is the sound and although I was fairly sceptical with this whole HD thing at first I could really see the definition in the picture when we were watching these HD channels.
The fact that this box enables you to pause or rewind live TV is a great aspect especially when watching those channels that don't have adverts and a trip tot eh toilet is needed and this aspect works really well too. The aspect of being able to record two different channels on this box really is amazing and although you can't watch another channel it is ideal to do when you are watching something already recorded onto the box. This means that we are able to watch the shows we want when we want and minus all the annoying adverts! I really can't rate it highly enough.
I was unaware until getting this box that Amstrad are a company who are actually owned by Sky and because of that fact these boxes have been tested again and again to work as well as they can with the Sky TV programmes and options. This box is far superior to the older style boxes which I was so used to operating but it took no time at all to get used to the way this box is set up and the way in which you can move around the options, planner and TV guide. I think if I was an old Sky user with one of the older boxes I would try and upgrade to one of these Sky plus HD boxes and as my mum has one of the older ones I am trying to get her to sort out getting a box like mine so she can make sure she never misses an episode of Corrie!
All in all I must say that this Amstrad box is really very good. So far we have never had any trouble with it crashing or needing to be re-started. It runs well and works excellently. The things that you are able to do on the box are really worth while in getting it and for that reason I have to award a top score 5 out of 5 stars and give it a very high recommendation. Although we were really happy with our last set top box which was a Freeview plus, this Sky plus box seems to our perform that in every way.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
Summary: a great set top box